Wyatt Tee Walker Was Tireless Fighter for Justice -- Jumaane Williams

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Wyatt Tee Walker was a close side to Dr. King. Photo: Flickr

I, along with millions across our city, state, and nation mourn the passing of Wyatt Tee Walker, a central figure and defining voice of the Civil Rights Movement.

Whether as the Executive Director of the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, as Chief of Staff to Dr. King, or with CORE and the NAACP, Mr. Walker was a driving force behind the Civil and Voting Rights Acts which propelled revolutionary change in this country.

He was a spiritual leader as well, and in his time as senior pastor at Caanan Baptist Church of Christ in Harlem was a powerful advocate for racial issues not only in America, but around the world."

Civil rights leaders, elected officials, and the Black community owe an immense debt to Wyatt Tee Walker, who was an inspirational figure for so many of us who now fight for equity. As a thought leader and as an organizer, Mr. Walker shaped future generations and their voices in the struggle for racial justice.

New Yorkers in particular remember the work he did in Harlem and throughout our city, fighting for affordable housing and better schools. These are fights we still engage today, and we will revere the silence where his voice once rang out in those struggles even as we lift our own voices in the model of his activism.

I offer prayers for peace and comfort to Mr. Walker's family, and hope that they, and he, know how much he meant to myself, my city, and my country- and how much we will miss him.

Jumaane Williams is a member of the New York City Council.

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